Like most of us teenage girls driving on the Santa Monica Freeway, I've been spending most of my mornings listening to Ryan Seacrest on one of these newfangled "radios." The dude cracks me up for reasons I still don't understand -- but my absolute favorite part is when people call in for advice. Most of them are tweens wondering if a boy has a crush on them, but a bunch of calls are way too serious for an anti-shock jock like Seacrest to solve in 30 seconds. In fact, I recall when one poor woman called as her life was being torn apart and Ryan literally just hung up and said, "I didn't know what to tell her." At least he's honest. I started to wonder if "advice columns," written or oral, should just become "sessions with licensed social worker." Not to suggest the on-air personalities at 102.7 KISS FM aren't PhDs.
But on this morning, July 10, I tuned in for mundane musings on my boy Ryan's favorite hair gel and my girl Ellen's favorite Kardashian, but what I got was a docu-soap of epically problematic proportions. (By the way, Ellen is to Ryan what Robin is to Howard, for those currently prepping for their SATs.)
As I dropped off my brother at LAX, I turned on 102.7 and all I heard was Ryan say, "When we come back, let's call him. Here on KISS FM," before the break. When I got back in the car and Ryan got back from commercials, I thought I was hearing an infomercial, as a woman was selling flowers over the phone. She asked the man who to make a card out to and he said "Gina." This is evidently not the name of his wife who was evidently listening in on the whole conversation.
All of a sudden, the wife (Ryan's original caller seeking advice) starts barking, "Who's Gina??" to which the husband (the "him" Ryan wanted to call) starts meowing back, "Who's this??"
Busted by a Seacrest sting operation! The hubbie confessed to having an affair as he and the wifey bleeped each other out -- which is where KISS FM draws the line on decency. By the end of the radio segment, we learn that their four year old daughter is now going to be raised by a single mother. Ryan advised them to "talk to each other" and then cut directly to a Selena Gomez commercial. Instantly upon the return from commercials, Ellen began talking about Heidi Klum's skills as a judge on America's Got Talent.
First the expected jerk call comes in with some guy who doesn't decry the adultery, but rather how the wife didn't listen to her man well enough.
Then a woman called and blamed the wife.
Then another woman called and blamed the wife.
Then another woman called and said if a man is cheating, it means he is not being treated right by the woman at home.
To Ryan and Ellen's credit, they were rightfully appalled by the support for the dad's infidelity. On-Air with Ryan Seacrest not only exposed a necessary truth for the wife in question, though it's a shame for their daughter it had to be broadcast, but they subsequently exposed a necessary truth that we as a society have what a pretty bad website called Jezebel would label as a "woman problem."
It doesn't take a psych degree to teach five simple words to our mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends: "It is not your fault."
If a man enters a monogamous relationship with you, goes behind your back and engages in "sexual relations with that woman," you are not responsible for his amoral actions. And, as any real feminist would agree, that same exact truth holds for when the genders are reversed.
The anonymous fan club the cheating father seemed to garner on the radio that morning made me question our collective attitudes about seemingly basic cases of Right v. Wrong. Do the women of the world need individual hugs from a bearded Robin Williams to set them free?
Since Seacrest got a bit too intense for 8 a.m., I changed the newfangled radio tuner to a station playing some new music. It was a song called "Problem," featuring Chris Brown.